Angry at an absent God

Psalm 44:9-26
February 16

When I went to South Padre Island to be the managing editor of the newspaper, the publisher looked at my resume and said, “Tim, I see you have been a pastor and are a seminary graduate. How are you going to report on the all the drinking and what goes on at Spring Break?”

“Are you asking me if I am a prude?” I said, “When I report on a car wreck, I don’t have to approve of it, I just need to report it accurately.”

The Bible is like that. Some of the things in the Bible are not only wrong, they are disturbing. But yet the Bible reports it accurately. The writer of the 44th psalm wrote glowingly about God for the first eight verses, but bitterly for the last 18 verses. Ten times, he blames God for the calamity he is facing and professes his innocence. The writer accuses God of being asleep and hiding His face.

I told a man whose wife was losing her Christian faith that there really are no atheists, just people who are angry with the God they claim not to believe in.

I’ve heard people say that we need to be honest with God, even when we are angry with Him, and this psalm is one doozy of an example in support of that. What’s more, even the Apostle Paul quotes this psalm and not the first part, but the bitter end. Compare Ps 44:22 with Romans 8:36, when Paul surrounds this Psalmist's angry cry for help with the comforting words of “who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” and “I am persuaded that (nothing) shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

If you feel abandoned by God, or even agnostic or atheistic, remember that weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Ps. 30:5). For a moment, it may seem God hides His face, “but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you” (Isa. 54:7-8). See also about the “sufferings of this present time” in Rom. 8:18, and what this “momentary light affliction” is producing in us in 2 Cor. 4:17.


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